FDDS Faculty


The award-winning Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars (FDDS) program has emerged as one of the nation's best leadership development and graduate preparation programs. Our mission is to elevate the ideas, influence, and impact of enterprising students for creative problem-solving, post-baccalaureate education, and socially responsible leadership. We bring together student leaders of high potential and groom them for lifelong achievement in creative industries, communications, government, law, technology, business, entrepreneurship, education, medicine, health, and international service.


Scholarships: Every Scholar receives full tuition, as well as mandatory fees, books, on-campus housing, and a generous meal plan. This scholarship is renewable for a total of four years of undergraduate study, provided scholars satisfy academic performance and program requirements.

Customized Career and Academic Planning: Each Scholar creates and implements a personal and professional development plan of action, tailored to his or her short-term and long-term goals.

Leadership Development: Scholars are prepared to lead with confidence, vision, and inspiration.


The program is exclusively for incoming first-year undergraduate students who have an expressed interest in leadership development and attending graduate and/or professional school. The program annually admits a cohort of five high-achieving student leaders from a wide range of backgrounds. You may apply during your final year of high school or within four years of receiving your high school diploma/GED. You also must apply separately to the Honors program. Undergraduate Admissions and the FDDS Faculty Advisory Committee will assess candidates based on their leadership experience, intellectual curiosity, recommendation letters, personal qualities, and demonstrated interest in attending graduate and/or professional school. While we encourage applications from all ambitious, well-rounded student leaders, the most competitive applicants will:

  • have a minimum 3.8 GPA (unweighted) or 4.0 GPA (weighted);
  • aspire to obtain a graduate and/or professional degree;
  • and be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

Historically underrepresented minority students and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Finalists will be interviewed on campus.


The application deadline for the FDDS program can be found here.